David Boies | Gay Marriage | News | Ted Olson | Virginia

Ruling 'Expected Soon' in Virginia Challenge to Gay Marriage Ban Following Hearing Today: AUDIO

(image via AFER - WAVY/Alba Bragoli)

A federal judge heard arguments in Norfolk on Thursday in one of two challenges to Virginia's ban on gay marriage. The case is Bostic v. Rainey, and the plaintiffs were represented by (Prop 8 lawyers) Ted Olson and David Boies and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

AFER reports:

District Federal Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen could issue a ruling quickly. “You’ll be hearing from me soon,” she said at the conclusion of the nearly two-hour hearing. While we don’t know when—or how—Judge Wright Allen will decide the case, we remain optimistic that our arguments for freedom and equality will once again prevail.

The Washington Post reports:

Virginia for the first time advanced its new legal position that a 2006 referendum approved by voters to define marriage as only between a man and a woman violates the U.S. Constitution. It is the next question for courts to decide as the nation’s view of same-sex marriage undergoes a radical transformation: whether states, which traditionally define marriage, may withhold it from same-sex couples.

Virginia Solicitor General Stuart Raphael said new Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) had made a “courageous” decision to say that the state could not defend the ban. He compared it to previous cases in which the commonwealth has defended segregation, a ban on interracial marriage and keeping women from attending VMI—all decisions overturned by the Supreme Court.

“We are not going to make the mistakes our predecessors made,” Raphael told Wright Allen.

Listen to the press call from AFER following the hearing with Boies, Olson, the plaintiffs and Virginia AG Mark Herring, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Keeping my fingers crossed

    Posted by: Clayton | Feb 4, 2014 6:24:40 PM

  2. Keeping my fingers crossed

    Posted by: Clayton | Feb 4, 2014 6:24:52 PM

  3. Keeping my fingers crossed

    Posted by: Clayton | Feb 4, 2014 6:25:44 PM

  4. and, of course, the two catholic bishops of virginia are crying in their sacramental wine:

    Posted by: woody | Feb 4, 2014 6:50:39 PM

  5. "...as the nation’s view of same-sex marriage undergoes a radical transformation"

    Radical how? Removing anatomical restrictions that have nothing to do with the spouses' ability to support each other and their children seems more like an incremental shift than a radical transformation.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 4, 2014 7:14:18 PM

  6. What went on in court today? When Prop 8 was being argued in Federal Court we had daily updates. Why is no one talking about the arguments and questions in the court today? Didn't the lawyers talk about it after the hearing, like they do after hearings before the Supreme Court?

    Posted by: john patrick | Feb 4, 2014 7:44:57 PM

  7. I bet the ruling is a good one. :o)

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 4, 2014 8:12:45 PM

  8. Today I felt proud to be a Virginian for the first time in my life.
    I had the opportunity to sit in the courtroom and listen to the impassioned arguments made by David Boies, Ted Olsen, and Solicitor General Stuart Raphael making our case. It was an incredible experience.
    I felt a bit sad for David Oakley, the young lawyer making his case for the Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk as he was very badly out of his league with his argument...but that was not his fault since there was no serious argument that he could make to refute our guys. It was a bit funny, though, as he repeatedly said "unintended marriages" when he meant "unintended pregnancies" as a reason for the state to involve itself in marriages. David Nimocks, arguing for the religious folks yelling outside the courtroom and his Alliance Defense Fund, sounded like a tent revival preacher for about a minute until Judge Arenda Allen Wright grimaced and told him to lower his voice. That seemed to really rattle him!
    Before the hearing I was able to shake the hand of David Boies, thank him, and tell him that I and my partner had been waiting for 33 years for this day. Mr. Boies replied "Hopefully you won't have to wait much longer."
    Olsen, Boies, Raphael and Attorney General Mark Herring are my new heroes. I hope to add Judge Arenda Wright Allen to that list very soon.

    Posted by: Garland Tillery | Feb 4, 2014 8:18:42 PM

  9. Hope you're able to get married in Virginia very shortly Garland! :o)

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 4, 2014 9:24:30 PM

  10. Last I checked it was the job of Defendants' counsel to make arguments for the defendant. So if it wasn't to defend the ban, what exactly was the Solicitor General's reason for being there? Why did the judge even waste her (and everyone else's) time letting him speak?

    Posted by: TKinSC | Feb 4, 2014 10:53:29 PM

  11. TKINSC,
    I think it was primarily to ask the court to stay the ruling if/when she finds that the law is unconstitutional. He made a very strong case for its unconstitutionality, but also for the confusion that would result from only ruling for the two couples. He said that would instantly bring hundreds, if not thousands of cases brought by other gay Virginians if she ruled only for the two couples. Apparently that is a possibility. The AFER lawyer, Nimocks, also suggested that she should issue a stay for the same reason. I took that to mean that Nimocks expects her to rule in our favor.
    Attorney General Herring was sitting next to the Solicitor General and my impression was that he was carrying Herring's torch for him. Herring did not speak during the hearing.

    Posted by: Garland Tillery | Feb 4, 2014 11:55:11 PM

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